The Lowry CAT Scheme

Dance Training

Weekly Open Classes

Looking for your child’s first dance class or wishing to improve and build on a pre-existing foundation within Contemporary Technique? NorthWestDance and The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT) offer classes from foundation to intermediate level, offering participants from the age of 6 – 17 years old a fun and insightful experience into the exciting world of dance. Our open classes allow young people to develop knowledge and skills in contemporary technique and the creative process, whether they are considering applying for the CAT at some point in the future, or simply love to dance.


Centre for Advanced Training

Are you aged 11-16 and love to dance? Then check out our Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) scheme.

Part of a family of National CAT Schemes across the country, The Lowry CAT is a part-time, pre-vocational course that gives young people access to high quality dance training. It’s ideal if you’re hoping to progress toward full-time training in the future.

The scheme will give you an important foundation in dance and allow you to reach your potential towards a sustainable and successful career in dance.

Benefits include: 

  • Take part in a minimum of 9 hours of training per week in contemporary and ballet technique, pilates and creative exploration
  • Supplementary sessions – such as body conditioning, nutrition and dance in context
  • Intensive courses –  opportunities to work with some of the best national and international companies that visit The Lowry every year
  • Individual training plans (ITP) – each student will receive an ITP, which will set out the programme of training, study, work and related activities

The CAT is funded by the Music and Dance Scheme through the Department of Education, providing financial support for families through means-tested grants

The CAT is funded by the Music and Dance Scheme through the Department of Education, providing financial support for families through means-tested grants. Click here to download the Fee & Grant Information for 2019-2020.

  • 78% of families receive financial support from the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme
  • 48% of students receive full-grants for their training

Grants are means-tested based on family’s annual earnings per tax year, with deductions and allowances made for dependents in accordance with the Department for Education’s guidelines.

Auditioning for The Lowry CAT

Following the NorthWestDance Open Days, suitable candidates aged 11-16 can apply to audition. Once on the scheme young people can stay until they are 18.

This year’s auditions will take place on Sunday 9th June 2019 at The Lowry, Salford Quays, for applicants looking to start in the next academic year September 2019.

To attend the audition you must first complete an Application Form. (Opens as a Word Doc)

Application Forms will be available at our Open Days to find out more visit the Open Days Page.

Application Forms must be completed in full and delivered to:
The Lowry CAT, The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ

**Deadline for submission of Application Forms is Sunday 2nd June 8pm**
Any applications submitted after this date may not be accepted.

Upon receipt of your application form a member of The Lowry CAT Team will contact you with an invitation to attend the audition and an outline of the schedule for the day. Please note the audition day usually starts at 9.15am finishing at approx. 6pm.

Auditions can be a very tense and nerve wracking experience even for the most seasoned of professional dancers. It is therefore important to recognise that your decision to attend already demonstrates a strong sense of self-motivation and commitment.

Please be advised that the audition process is devised in order to assess true potential and ability rather than technical excellence. The creative and choreographic elements of the audition will give you an opportunity to demonstrate this potential and it is important to note that every effort will be made to create a safe and relaxed environment in order that you can work to your maximum potential.

Even attending an audition is a valuable learning experience and in many ways will benefit future applications that you make. We would ask therefore that you try, even though it is sometimes difficult to do so; to approach the audition as though you would any other workshop and enjoy the process of the day.

CAT Taster Workshops

Each year, we offer FREE taster workshops to schools, colleges and youth groups from across the North West region as part of our outreach and recruitment programme. Our aim is to encourage more young people to consider their future in dance and to discover the potential within the training available through the CAT Scheme.

For more information about how to sign up to our free CAT taster workshops, download this handy guide here. (Opens as a Word Doc)

If you are interested in booking a FREE CAT taster workshop, please contact or 0161 876 2018

For more information about The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training please visit NorthWestDance.

NW Dance

NorthWestDance: The Lowry Youth Dance Partnership works closely with many different agencies and organisations around the North West and nationally to provide and champion high quality dance for young people across the region; promoting increased access to opportunities, raising standards and improving progression routes, through our varied projects and programmes. 

Picture of two dancers

Who are NW Dance?

We work in partnership with national organisations such as One Dance UK and the National Centre’s for Advanced Training in Dance (CATS) to deliver regional youth dance initiatives including The Lowry’s Centre for Advanced Training in Danceand U.Dance NW, the regions youth dance festival.

We work with organisations and dance companies across the UK to provide access to national projects for regional young people, such as New Adventures: ReBourne, Breakin’ Convention and English Folk Dance & Song Society.

NorthWestDance also manages Commotions Youth Dance Company, The Lowry’s Youth Dance Ambassador Scheme(alongside The Lowry Marketing Team) & the regional dance website; giving the regions dance artists and young people access to creative opportunities, progression routes and the opportunity to share their work with each other.

Check out the Sub Regional Dance Development page on the NorthWestDance website to find out who your local dance agency or organisation is. They will be able to let you know what exciting dance initiatives are available for you to get involved with in your local area!

If you’d like to get in contact with the NorthWestDance team then please do so as we would love to hear from you!

U.Dance NW 2020

U.Dance is a national framework run by One Dance UK which helps to improve and inspire dance performance opportunities for children and young people across England, through working in partnership with organisations across the country. You can register your own performance events to be a part of the U.Dance Framework on the One Dance UK website.

U.Dance NW is the annual Regional Young Peoples Dance Festival for the North West, delivered by NorthWestDance at The Lowry, Salford Quays. This event will take place Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd March 2020 in the Quays Theatre! 

The NW festival welcomes applications from dance groups across the region who work in all genres of dance with young people aged between 11-19 (or up to 25 for dancers with disabilities). It is a fantastic place to provide regional dance groups/ companies/schools the opportunity to perform on a professional stage, take part in dance activities and a variety of professional workshops, as well as meet other young dancers from across the region.

This year, U.Dance NW is providing four strands for young talent in the region to be a part of, including ‘Main Stage Performance’, ‘Under 11s Performance’‘Dance on Screen’ and ‘Choreographic Exchange’ strands. To find out more about these opportunities in detail, please read our Regional Information & Guidance Notes.


To apply for any of the strands of U.Dance NW 2020 with your group, please follow the below links:

Main Stage Performance

Under 11s Performance

Dance on Screen

Choreographic Exchange